1. Extreme Beer Fest. March 20 & 21, 2015 in Boston, Mass. Join us!
  2. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  3. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Founders Backwoods Bastard - Founders Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Founders Backwoods BastardFounders Backwoods Bastard

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
96
world-class

5,462 Ratings
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 5,462
Reviews: 1,431
rAvg: 4.33
pDev: 10.62%
Wants: 699
Gots: 1,584 | FT: 140
Brewed by:
Founders Brewing Company visit their website
Michigan, United States

Style | ABV
Scotch Ale / Wee Heavy |  10.20% ABV

Availability: Fall

Notes/Commercial Description:
Scotch Ale aged in bourbon barrels.

(Beer added by: CortexBomb on 01-30-2007)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Founders Backwoods Bastard Alström Bros
Ratings: 5,462 | Reviews: 1,431 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of LambicPentameter
4.58/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed on tap at Bier Station in Kansas City. Poured into a small Belgian tulip glass.

Appearance - Body is a dark maroon and burgundy with some reddish clay right around the edge of the bottom of the glass. Atop the dark slightly hazy-looking body sits a half-finger (if that) head the color of cappuccino foam, but not nearly as dense as cappuccino foam. Density is silky and thin, with a couple of giant air bubbles from the pour. Lacing is pretty much nonexistent--just a spitting of small foam splatters intermittently around the glass.

Smell - Hard to draw much out other than generic toasted malt at first, but as it warms, the aroma becomes more detectible. Taking a few deep inhales to get the full sense, I get pleasant notes of french vanilla, dulce de leche, roasting marshmallow, lightly toasted malt and some rye-like spiciness. Very pleasant and complex, but far from overbearing. Makes me reluctant to drink it, lest I ruin the wonderful balance of the smell.

Taste - More forceful than the aroma, but still restrained in a really good way. Caramelized sugar, light peat, roasted malt, pinch of black pepper, vanilla, brandy and scotch whisky are all essences I get a sense from in the taste. The predominant notes are from the vanilla and whisky, but it's wonderfully blended. It's amazing just how much variance there can be from one barrel-aged beer to the next. Some are harsh and astringent, like booze was just directly added to the beer, and other times, they come together beautifully in a way that brings to mind a fine strong liquor that is meant to be consumed in a straightforward manner. This one is definitely the latter.

Mouthfeel -Medium-bodied and low carbonation with a sweet and just barely smokey finish.

Overall, this is yet another home run from Founders. I love how they have stellar beers all over their lineup--some in the year-round, some in the seasonal, some in the specialty or limited releases--I could name several that I just love, and this one is no different. A really tasty take on a style that doesn't seem terribly widespread amongst American brewers.

LambicPentameter, Jan 03, 2014
Photo of Noonan425
4.25/5  rDev -1.8%

Noonan425, Jan 03, 2014
Photo of concealed
4.25/5  rDev -1.8%

concealed, Jan 02, 2014
Photo of Hendrick24
4.5/5  rDev +3.9%

Hendrick24, Jan 02, 2014
Photo of lovethebelgians
4.75/5  rDev +9.7%

lovethebelgians, Jan 02, 2014
Photo of gueuzegossage
4.25/5  rDev -1.8%

gueuzegossage, Jan 02, 2014
Photo of Abbbp
4.25/5  rDev -1.8%

Abbbp, Jan 02, 2014
Photo of JPeezy
4.5/5  rDev +3.9%

JPeezy, Jan 02, 2014
Photo of EyePeeAyBryan
4.5/5  rDev +3.9%

EyePeeAyBryan, Jan 02, 2014
Photo of BrainTree
4.25/5  rDev -1.8%

BrainTree, Jan 02, 2014
Photo of Hypersomnia
4.5/5  rDev +3.9%

Hypersomnia, Jan 02, 2014
Photo of srw
4/5  rDev -7.6%

srw, Jan 02, 2014
Photo of StJamesGate
4.36/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Leather brown with ruby highlights and French vanilla yellow creamy head that clings.
Honey nut corn flakes, caramel apple, hot rum toddy, chocolate almond bark - stupefying woody-sweet deep nose that smells like all good things and makes my mouth water with every sniff.
Salted caramel, chocolate fudge candy, cosy wood smoke, plum and fig, vanilla ice cream, and a speck of orange oil.
Goober finish and smoked almond linger.
Round, silky, chewy, medium, some heat but nothing up to 10%.

Beer words just fail - this is like a cross between a candy bar and an aged whiskey. Sure, there's oaky vanilla and some chocolate malt, but never mind the breakdown, this is just so darn tasty. Heard you need this fresh to get the hops, and I'm not, but I don't know it matters. It also might sub residual sugars for big body, but it gets away with it. Great beer to welcome 2014 and to carry its impressions through a dry January.

Absolute homerun of a beer.

StJamesGate, Jan 02, 2014
Photo of nguasta2
4/5  rDev -7.6%

nguasta2, Jan 02, 2014
Photo of Ben7773
4/5  rDev -7.6%

Ben7773, Jan 01, 2014
Photo of Ribsandwhiskey
4/5  rDev -7.6%

Ribsandwhiskey, Jan 01, 2014
Photo of Cloaked_Phantom
5/5  rDev +15.5%

Cloaked_Phantom, Jan 01, 2014
Photo of Painmob
4.75/5  rDev +9.7%

Painmob, Jan 01, 2014
Photo of Dougwillhike
5/5  rDev +15.5%

Dougwillhike, Jan 01, 2014
Photo of KeralaTigers
4.25/5  rDev -1.8%

KeralaTigers, Jan 01, 2014
Photo of JustAnotherDrinker
4.69/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

A: Gave this guy the old tumble-pour and I wasn't disappointed. It had a nice dark color with a creamy swirl till it settled down. Fantastic head with great lacing, the color was nice and dark and made me all tingly inside and i couldn't wait to try it.

S: Get a hint of vanilla, some tasty smelling malts, and a presence of caramel (could be molases)

T: Boom. It was like fireworks that were immediately smothered by a warm blanket of sweet malty tastes. Congrats Founders, this is one of the best beers i've tasted. Ever. It's so smooth and delicious, all the smells were adequately transferred into taste, with a little bit of a, i hesitate to say coarse, but coarse finish. The finish really brought it all together 360 with a taste that made me beg for more

M: A smooth caress over the palate, with a surprisingly clean and coarse finish. Now let me delve into what i mean by coarse. The beer kind of tugged at my palate, but just for a moment and just enough to give it a great taste. Loved it

O: As a said, I loved it. I want more, and I want it at my disposal at all hours. Sadly, I heard that it's a seasonal beer, and that breaks my heart. I guess i'll just have to stock up

JustAnotherDrinker, Dec 31, 2013
Photo of Opamurphy
4.5/5  rDev +3.9%

Opamurphy, Dec 31, 2013
Photo of LanePerson
4.75/5  rDev +9.7%

LanePerson, Dec 31, 2013
Photo of Iowacraft
4.5/5  rDev +3.9%

Iowacraft, Dec 31, 2013
Photo of nesarebad
4.5/5  rDev +3.9%

nesarebad, Dec 31, 2013
Founders Backwoods Bastard from Founders Brewing Company
96 out of 100 based on 5,462 ratings.